I had planned to upgrade my student Yamaha 275 on passing my grade 4 exam. A kind of reward I thought. But having just scraped through to a pass and having looked at my options and the prices of pro altos, I had an epiphany. It occurred to me that there’s no point in getting a saxophone that plays way better than me.
So I did the next best thing, I got it serviced, which sorted out the leaks, especially in the lower register. Suddenly everything was a lot easier to play. I was lucky and found a great service place with a very experienced saxophone specialist.
The other important thing I learnt during this period was the importance of the mouth piece. Now there’s a whole science to this which I’m really not qualified to talk about yet. But luckily the chap that serviced my sax, took one look at my mouthpiece and immediately offered to sell me a used Selmer S80. Which I grabbed with both hands.
The Selmer mouthpiece has taken my sound to another level and I’m happy to wait a bit longer before I upgrade. So my advice to anyone starting off is to get your saxophone serviced and get a better mouthpiece before trading up.